Books For A Buck

Quick:  What can you buy for a dollar these days?

A)  One share of Citigroup

B)  A Barry Manilow song on iTunes

C)  A book at the Westport Public Library‘s winter sale

D)  All of the above

The answer of course is D, though only C will bring you hours of pleasure and joy.

Overseeing the March madness is Friends of the Library book sale chair Mimi Greenlee.  Mimi — whose perpetual smile and good humor make Kathie Lee Gifford look like Dick Cheney — greeted 150 people this morning.  They waited patiently for the doors to open and — proving that libraries are not Wal-Mart — trampled no one to death.

Instead they hunted feverishly for bargains.  Besides books, there are records, videos and “cassettes” (whatever those are, they’re 25 cents each, or 4 per Citigroup share).

In they piled: old guys carrying crates, women toting Whole Foods bags, kids whose parents forbid them to play xBox.

There were plenty of dealers too, said Mimi.  They buy for used bookstores, which sell them to readers, who then donate them to libraries for book sales, where they are sold back to dealers, creating a bibliophilic Mobius strip of epic proportions.

Thousands of books being sold, re-sold and re-re-sold, all for a buck or two:  It sounds like something out of Uzbekistan.  But Uzbeks can’t wander up one floor from the Westport book sale to the Library Cafe, where scrumptious brownies cost only $1.50.  Or one-and-a-half Citigroup shares.

NOTE:  The library’s book sale continues Sunday 1-5 p.m.; Monday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (everything half-price), and Tuesday 9 a.m.-noon (all free).

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